Fin de Guatemala

We finished up our last day of Spanish school today! Over the last week or so since our previous blog we’ve been occupied with school in the morning and different activities each afternoon.

Dave studying with his tutor Sonia

Dave studying with his tutor Sonia

Fun with pinatas at the school

Fun with pinatas at the school

Christine has been busy doing volunteer work at Common Hope (or Familiar de Esperanza as it’s called locally). It’s a well run organization based in Minnesota that has been doing lots of charity work in this area for 25+ years. The project is at a huge old coffee plantation on the outskirts of Antigua complete with medical and dental clinics, a workshop for making pre-fab houses, a nursery, library and lots more to assist the community. One afternoon Christine went with one of the many social workers on home visits to some of the families and hear how they were getting along. The families were very welcoming and proud of their modest and extremely basic homes. Some with no running water!

Community laundries for those familes without running water at home

Community laundries for those familes without running water at home

There were many families affected by alcohol abuse and violence besides being poor and trying to take care of their many children. Common Hope focuses on assisting the children with education and all that this entails; happy home, family, health,and safety. I obviously worked in the dental clinic and saw a lots of different people and did everything from extractions to cleanings and even a root canal! All the patients were so appreciative and grateful, making it an unforgettable experience.

One very happy patient

One very happy patient

Christines helpful assistants

Christine’s helpful assistants

Dave has also been a busy little beaver! He’s been getting the van all fixed up so that we can continue our journey without cringing every time we see a huge bump coming our way. Our suspension has been tested to the limit and it was in desperate need of some help, especially since our rubber bumper thingys fell off. We found a mechanic right down the street from us and took Ginger in on 2 different days. All went well but the true test will be when we drive her!

Dave also went to one of the many coffee plantations for a tour, which was reasonably interesting, and educational.

Coffee beans out to dry before roasting

Coffee beans out to dry before roasting

This week has also brought many new campers into our little patch of police compound, including a few other overlanders heading to Argentina or Chile.

It's getting busy around here!

It’s getting busy around here!

For a few nights we had an English lad on a motorbike camped next to us. He had travelled up from Argentina and was headed to the USA to sell the bike before heading home. We’ve had a few hippies come and go, a Canadian girl in a hammock and a strange Italian guy that didn’t talk to anyone. There have also been a few really nice couples that we hope to keep in touch with and hopefully catch up with as we all head further South.

We are making the most of our last day in Antigua, Guatemala before heading to El Salvador tomorrow. Our good friends Denis and Renee are also heading off tomorrow, so we may tag along with them for a couple more days.

Christine dwarfed by the 'Gigantes'

Christine dwarfed by the ‘Gigantes’

Beautiful sights in Antigua

Beautiful sights in Antigua

We have really enjoyed it here and being stationary for 2.5 weeks but the trip is far from over and it’s time to get going again.

This weeks banner - Christine getting blown off of Volcan Pacaya

This weeks banner – Christine getting blown off of Volcan Pacaya

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Fin de Guatemala

  1. Kelly Brown

    Haha, your comment about Dave finding the coffee plantation ‘reasonably interesting’ made me giggle… Was it not very exciting?!

    Good luck with the next part of your travels! Xxx

  2. Peter Moore

    OK, fess up, now you have finished the Spanish course! Can you speak some, any Spanish? How does Dave go with an Oz accent? Pete

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